There’s nothing like enjoying a fresh, clean home after the madness of Christmas. The decorations have come down, the surfaces are sparkling again, and spring is (just about) in sight. For many of us, the struggle is keeping our homes neat and tidy, especially in between our weekly deep-cleans. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of scrubbing every last corner, take a deep breath and read on for our top cleaning tips - however little time you’ve got to hand.
If you’ve got 5 minutes
Ready to leave the house a little earlier than expected? Got 5 minutes to spare? Great! Make the most of it by picking one tiny corner of the house (the bathroom sink and the area just inside your front door work well for this). Set a 5 minute timer on your phone, and challenge yourself to make that area - and just that area - as tidy as you can. Put shoes back in the cupboard, put the lid back on the toothpaste, and pass a sponge over the taps (make sure you’re using a spritz of a natural cleaning product,too). You might only see a tiny difference, but make this 5 minute cleaning session a daily occurrence, and soon you’ll notice a major change - without having to put much effort in.
If you’ve got 15 minutes
Five minutes is a great start, but a quarter of an hour is even better. Not long enough to wear you out, but just long enough to make a big difference!
If you’ve got 15 minutes available, consider:• Changing the bed
• Tidying up surfaces in your living space
• Vacuuming one room
• Doing the dishes
• Folding or ironing the laundry
• Putting kids’ toys away
• Dusting the window sills
• Scrubbing the toilet (it’s got to be done!)
For bonus points, get the rest of your household involved too, before something you’re all doing together - like sitting down for a weekend breakfast, or watching a film on a rainy afternoon. If you’ve got kids, turn it into a friendly competition, and raise the stakes by allowing the winner to choose the film…
If you’ve got 30 minutes
When you’ve got half an hour to hand, pick two 15 minute tasks from the list above. Consider what would make the biggest difference for you: if you’ve got a separate kitchen, maybe the dishes are less of a priority for you. If you’ve got animals who shed fur everywhere, you might find vacuuming the living room makes you feel great.
If you’d rather get stuck into a chunkier cleaning task, spend your half hour powering through one room like the bathroom or kitchen. Put away extra cutlery and crockery in the kitchen, and dust the top shelves in your cupboards. In the bathroom, remove used products from your shower, empty the bin, and make sure the mirror’s sparkling clean. In both the kitchen and bathroom, spray surfaces with a natural cleaning product (check that the product is material-appropriate!), and give everything a good wipe. A regular half-hour cleaning session will help you keep on top of things without feeling like you’ve got to regularly give up an evening to keep your home spick and span, so it’s worth squeezing in when you can.
If you’ve got 90 minutes
Make sure you’re well stocked up on cleaning products, so that when you do have the time (and motivation!) for a proper deep-clean, you’re ready to get cracking. We recommend keeping reusable cleaning cloths on hand, as well as a combination of natural cleaning products suitable for different surfaces. The last thing you want to do is damage your tiles or kitchen counter with some well-intentioned scrubbing, so make sure you’re prepared in advance. Work through your home one room at a time, clearing away clutter, wiping down surfaces, and hoovering those hard-to-reach corners. A deep-clean is the perfect time to focus on the aspects of cleaning that don’t get as much attention: door handles and window sills, for example, can store grime, but we don’t tend to clean them on a regular basis.
Top tip: Keep a list on your fridge of tasks that take 5/15/30/90 minutes. You don’t have to stick to cleaning tasks: add in life admin like meal prepping and writing grocery lists, replying to texts and emails, and anything else on your life to-do list. Whenever you’ve got a few minutes to spare, instead of mindlessly scrolling on your phone, pick a task or two off your list. You’ll feel much better afterwards!